Narrator Christy Lynn shows off her versatility as she performs Kate Holden's harrowing memoir of her descent into heroin addiction and prostitution. Lynn uses a bright, open voice to show Holden's sense of invincibility during the first stages of her heroin use, evoking the allure that the drug had for the young woman. But as Holden's drug use spirals out of control, Lynn adds a subtle edge of desperation and brittle cynicism to her performance. Lynn does not sensationalize Holden's sexual encounters, but chooses to render them with rueful straightforwardness. Listeners will find Holden's story powerful in its depiction of humanity and love amidst squalor and self-destruction.
Called "Quite simply in a class of its own... the work of a stunningly talented writer who both graces and surpasses her material" (Guardian), this is the frank, harrowing, and true story of one young woman's descent into heroin addiction and prostitution and the long, arduous struggle to redeem her life that made her stronger. A shy, bookish college graduate from a solid middle-class home, Kate Holden was uncertain of her way in life. When she decided to try her first hit of heroin as a one-time adventure with friends, she did not anticipate that the drug would take over. She lost her job and apartment and stole from her family. Desperation drove her first to offer her body on the streets and then in high-class brothels, where she discovered hidden strengths as well as parts of herself that frightened her. With the acceptance and unyielding love of a family that never abandoned her, Kate Holden ultimately defeated the drug and left her netherworld behind.
©2013 Kate Holden (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
So it turns out there's a very different reaction when an attractive, college-educated woman turns to prostitution and heroin addiction in Australia than the one people use where I'm from (U.S.). There is much less shame, much more matter-of-fact acceptance (her parents told the neighbors!) and much more detail provided on her life working in the brothel and her clients than I was prepared for.
The book hooked me though, because I didn't realize there was another way of looking at heroin/prostitution than hopeless/shame/despair. Kate Holden doesn't adopt that tone and I have to admit, it made the book really stand out to me. On the other hand, she doesn't exactly recommend the lifestyle. She's a reporter - here's what I did, here's why, here's how I felt, here's what I did next, etc.
It is written from the addict's point of view and I can see how it might anger some family members or others who've suffered from the addiction of loved ones. But it did make me think. And I never once doubted her story was true (Looking at you sideways, James Frey.)
All in all, if you're looking for a tour through the guts of addiction, here you go. But it wasn't what I expected - in a good way.
really tried to get into this book, but the inflection and accent of the narrator just made it too difficult. This one will definitely be getting returned.
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